08/05/2020 strategic-culture.org  3 min #173577

The Ineradicable, and Often Fatal, Flaw in Any Democracy

Eric Zuesse

This will not be alleging that democracy is less good than its alternative (dictatorship), because that obviously is not the case; but it is instead about what even democracies cannot avoid, because humans are stupid, which means that only a minority of any human population can think sufficiently clearly and honestly about political issues so as to have the capacity to vote even in their own best interest regarding whom to vote for.

For example, during the coronavirus-19 pandemic crisis in 2020, Donald Trump and the Republicans were gung-ho on bailing out corporations but not on bailing out state governments that were facing the front-line burdens of dealing with the economic collapse, and with the resulting shortfalls in tax-revenues, and also with the medical emergencies which were now pouring into their hospitals. On 28 April 2020, "The Hill" bannered  "State funding fight underscores Schumer-McConnell war", and the "Best" or most-popular reader-comments, there, mainly ignored the policy-issue of whether the money was valid as a national or instead only a local-state expense, and instead focused on whether the Republican President and Republican leader of the Senate were okay in refusing to bail out states that voted predominantly for Democratic Party politicians. To judge by the reader-comments, many of the readers (one may reasonably presume to have been favorable to Republicans) thought that that was okay, and the issue that most of the readers engaged with, pro-and-con, was instead whether a holder of national office should even care, at all, about people who weren't of their own political Party. This is stupid, it is evil, but this is the way that most of the reader-comments at that site actually were.

Another example, at the very same time, but at a different site and audience, was at the "Business Insider" news-site, and headlined  "Why Now? In an exclusive interview, Tara Reade's former neighbor explains her decision to come forward, and why she's still voting for Joe Biden." The interviewee exhibited no doubt that Joe Biden had finger-fucked his attractive Senate employee and then fired her for having resisted his doing it to her, but when the interviewee, "LaCasse," was asked whether what Biden did to her former friend and neighbor would affect her vote, the answer was:

I am personally a Democrat, a very strong Democrat and I'm for Biden, regardless.

McHugh: You are voting for Biden?

LaCasse: Yeah, absolutely. But still I have to come out and say this.

McHugh: Why?

LaCasse: Well, just because that is what happened and I have to support her just because that's what happened. If this was me, I would want somebody to stand up for me. It takes a lot of guts to do what she's doing.

All that was at issue for her was the interviewee's former friend and neighbor, the former Senate-staffer - not one's vote for the Presidency of the country. This person's vote belonged to the Democratic Party.

For most voters, votes are partisan, not about the nation, not about policies. Most voters are Democrats or Republicans or Catholics or Jews or Whites or Blacks or etc., but not simply Americans - or whatever the country happens to be - much less about being simply human, or simply conscious at all, not of any animal-species. Most voters are unconscious; they are driven by prejudices; they are overwhelmingly reactive, not active, in political matters. What they are reacting to are mainly their own prejudices.

This means, of course, that the public are manipulable.

Of course, some humans specialize in studying and developing ways to manipulate a mass of people by pressing their group-buttons or treating individuals as just groups of traits instead of as the actual vulnerable creatures that each person - like any other animal - is, in reality. Vulnerabilities are buttons to push, instead of fellow-beings to have compassion and authentic caring for and about. This is the PR or propaganda profession, and it is hired by billionaires in order to manipulate their followers in whatever ways those billionaires want them to be manipulated, to vote for whatever politicians the given billionaire wants to win any given election.

And that is the ineradicable, and often fatal, flaw, in any democracy.